Annabelle Gaspar is a photographer who lives and works in Sydney. Her creative energies have seen a varied career that spans theatre, music, design and photography.
Gaspar’s artistic practice is instinctual and organic, capturing the energy of countless sessions in various aquatic settings. One of Gaspar’s skills as a photographer is her ability to use the underwater setting to intensify the drama within every image. Movement becomes dancelike and stillness becomes deafening. The affective quality of her photographs is born from this immersive and weightless experience. Mirrored surface reflections and fractured light shape the atmospheric qualities of the photographs and direct the viewer towards an emotive and personal reading of the works.
As an avenue of creative expression, Gaspar’s photography is informed by both her personal and professional experiences. Personally, the passing of Gaspar’s father prompted a return to photography; a passion first
inspired by experimentation with her father’s 35mm camera as a teenager. This sense of loss is expressed by Gaspar; “I guess a big part of me wanted to hide, to feel weightless, uncomplicated. An altered state of reality.”
The moments Gaspar captures can be both haunting and ambiguous, and yet still they are incredibly delicate
and sensitive. Ambiguity though, is key to the success of the photographs. Identity is often masked, clouded or
beyond the frame of the image. This denial forces us to project identities and explore our own narrative directions; as viewers we have to invest ourselves in the images in order to draw meaning from them.
Gaspar’s photography explores the twilight zones between movement and stillness, physicality and fragility,
male and female, the known and the unknown.
It is the artists’ ability to stretch time and suspend a moment that draws the viewer in. These photographs resonate with us because they do not offer up their secrets easily. They call for multiple viewings and multiple readings and in this sense they are ripe for contemplation, reflection and immersion.
by Toby Meagher
© Annabelle Gaspar 2013